Think Rice Education Program Earns High Marks from Teachers

DP-Mr. Kotter-150506
Welcome back, rice!
May 06, 2015
ARLINGTON, VA – In honor of March National Nutrition Month, USA Rice distributed the Think Rice educational lesson plan to more than 2,800 elementary schools in rice-growing counties across the six states.  USA Rice partnered with the award-winning curriculum experts at Young Minds Inspired (YMI) to develop the program to meet national standards for 3rd – 6th grade students in social studies, science, and nutrition.  As of mid-April, the program reached an estimated 9,000 teachers and 330,000 students and families.

“Teachers were encouraged to return comment cards measuring use, effectiveness, and appeal of the program, and we received a 32 percent response rate, which is right on par with other YMI education plans,” said Katie Maher, USA Rice’s manager of domestic promotion. “What’s even better, is that there were 500 randomly distributed surveys and 74 percent of those were returned, which is well above average.”

Ninety-seven percent of teachers rated the program’s educational effectiveness as “good-excellent.”  The Think Rice kit contained three student activities, a classroom poster, and a teacher’s guide.  The student activities covered topics including: the history of rice in America, the environmental benefits of growing and eating U.S. rice, and the important role U.S. rice plays in a balanced diet.  

Of the teachers who received the materials, 82 percent used (or plan to use) the Think Rice materials, 89 percent displayed the wall poster, and 87 percent shared (or plan to share) the program with other teachers.  

The program materials were downloaded more than 1,300 times from YMI’s website and will be available indefinitely so teachers from all around the country can use the activities.

Below are a few quotes from teacher comment cards and surveys:
   • “It’s very important for our kids to know where rice comes from and its nutritional importance. Thank you.” – CA teacher
   • “Wonderful program. Kids enjoyed it. Will use it next year too!” – AR teacher
   • “Enjoyed the poster. Its message is clear and has great information to share.” – MO teacher
   • “Good lesson because it ties in nicely with nutrition and MyPlate too!” – MS teacher
   • “Great information. This is a great way to get children interested.” – LA teacher
   • “An excellent program.  My co-teachers enjoyed it as well. Thank you.”  -- TX teacher

“It’s great to hear that the Think Rice program is a beneficial tool for teachers to integrate into the curriculum,” said Byron Holmes, chairman of the USA Rice Nutrition Subcommitee.  “This is something we can use for years to come because teachers have confirmed its educational quality and because it covers important topics for the U.S. rice industry, which are coincidentally topics of great interest to teachers and students.”

Contact:  Deborah Willenborg (703) 236-1444